Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Devon’s Teignbridge Council backs self builders


Builder The council says there is high demand from self builders for land

A Devon council has decided to force developers to make land available to people who want to build their own home.

Teignbridge Council has written the policy into its new local plan.

It says that any developer who gets permission for 20 houses or more must make 5% of the land available to self-builders to buy.

The council believes it could result in 400 new self-build homes over the next 20 years.

Jeremy Christophers, Conservative leader of the council, said: “In the South West it is not easy to come by land for self-building.

Continue reading the main story

“I’m delighted the policy is in there… It is genuinely ground-breaking stuff”

– Nick Boles Planning Minister

“We are are keen to help young working people get on the housing ladder.”

A land agent told the council more than 3,000 customers had paid subscriptions to search for residential plots in Teignbridge since 2001, indicating a high demand.

‘Fantastic opportunity’

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “I’m delighted the policy is in there. It is a first. It is genuinely ground-breaking stuff.

“And what it is saying is that there are lots of people who rather than buy a house from one of the big house builders, would just like to be able to get a local builder and maybe a local architect and design their own.

“That is a demand that is broadly speaking unsatisfied currently.”

He said he hoped other councils would follow the Teignbridge’s policy.

“The idea of relying on these huge national house builders like we do is very foreign to many of our European neighbours.

“Most of us cherish the idea of building our own home.

“The critical thing is that a self-build house can be 20-25% cheaper than the equivalent because you’re not paying the profit margin of the house builder.”


Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Dartmoor and Exmoor would be ‘devestated’ by ‘right to build’ proposals

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

By Martin Hesp

moor                    Moorland buildings like these could be developed under new proposals

The Government will ignore fierce opposition to its proposals to cut red tape which could allow building and development work in some of the Westcountry’s most precious countryside areas.

So say bosses at Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities, who are outraged at the move.

The park authorities are particularly alarmed by the proposal that will allow – as of right – the conversion or replacement of “redundant” farm buildings in any location, with up to three dwellings.

Planning permission for the conversion of such buildings would be automatically granted without any need for an application – or the traditional discussion by a local authority. All developers would need to do is notify the planning authority of their intentions. Continue Reading »

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Policy:Making the planning system work more efficiently and effectively        Topic:Planning and building

Response to story on planning conditions and environmental impact assessments.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said:

Planning conditions are attached to planning permissions when they are granted. The government is concerned that too many unreasonable conditions are imposed, which can be up to 100 different requirements. In turn, these can then prevent construction work starting on sites and houses being built, sometimes adding years to the planning process.

Environmental impact assessments stem from European Union law and impose significant costs on the planning system, over and above long-standing, domestic environmental safeguards. It has become apparent that some local planning authorities require detailed assessment of all environmental issues irrespective of whether EU directives actually require it; similarly, some developers do more than is actually necessary to avoid the possibility of more costly legal challenges, which adds delays and cost to the application process.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Another Government Press release says…

Simplified planning to speed up delivery of new homes and support local jobs

New measures will speed up the delivery of homes by cutting down unnecessary planning processes and providing more certainty about where sensible development should take place.

Proposals outlined today (4 December 2013) will boost housebuilding and support businesses keen to expand by removing delays from the planning system, stopping burdensome conditions and cutting the costly red tape often faced by applicants. Continue Reading »

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Government Press Release

Hundreds of communities taking up chance to have a say over their neighbourhood

Communities urged to make full use of their rights and join over 800 groups now working on neighbourhood plans.



Communities were urged to make full use of their rights and join the hundreds of groups now working up plans that will set out the future vision for their neighbourhood, Planning Minister Nick Boles said today (28 November 2013).

A new landmark has been reached with more than 800 communities now working on getting a neighbourhood plan in place.

Neighbourhood planning is one of the new community rights introduced by government to give people more say over their area and puts communities in charge of setting out the homes, shops and amenities they want in their neighbourhood.

55% of local authorities have neighbourhood plans being worked up and have received an application for an area to be designated, with 43 of these authorities having at least 6 plans in progress. Continue Reading »

LOFT CONVERSION: As much as 20 per cent can be added to the value of a home if a loft includes a bedroom and bathroom, according to research by Halifax.

Monday, November 25th, 2013

An article in The Mail on Sunday reports that a recent survey has shown that, together with a fireplace, a loft conversion can add value to your home.

Here at Mike Leggett Building Plans we can help with any of these projects, even if you want to add a chimney or fireplace to your home.

In short, the article offers the following advice:

Homeowners wanting to ignite their property’s  value and selling potential might consider investing in a working fireplace this  winter.


LOFT  CONVERSION: As much as 20 per cent can be added to the value of a home if  a loft includes a bedroom and bathroom, according to research by Halifax.  The outlay may mean any profit is  eaten up in building costs as conversions typically cost at least £15,000 and  can be as much as £70,000 – but you should not lose money.

KITCHEN OR  BATHROOM MAKEOVER: While a new kitchen or bathroom should help attract  potential buyers it may not boost a property’s value by much.  Adding en-suite bathrooms offers best value.

SOLAR  PANELS: A system can cost £5,400 to install on a roof – with customers  taking 12 years to recover costs. Consider it a long-term investment.

CONSERVATORY: Spend wisely on a structure that is in keeping with the  home. Cheap plastic frames on period properties can actually reduce the value of  a home.

SWIMMING  POOL: Despite the glamorous appeal, it may not be a shrewd investment. 

For the full article, follow this link :

Read more:–cut-bills.html#ixzz2ldt8iPRD

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Good news / Bad news…


The Government has decided to remove the need for planning permission for office conversions into flats.

However, some planners in London are mounting a legal challenge to the plan.

The case goes to the High Court on 4th December.


For updates on national planning matters, follow the link below to the Government Planning Portal



Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Government’s news site posted this yesterday… good news for self-builders somewhere!


Second wave of government land to be released for self-build housing.

Four new sites for self-build housing released by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Aspiring self-builders will have the chance to realise their ambitions thanks to 4 new sites which are being released by the Homes and Communities Agency, Kris Hopkins said today (12 November 2013).

The sites form part of a wider government programme to support the growth of the custom build housing sector and give more people the opportunity to build their own homes.

The Housing Minister said Continue Reading »